Seniors Helping Seniors® In-Home Services COVID-19 Safety and Preparedness
March 30, 2020
Seniors Helping Seniors is actively monitoring the progression of the coronavirus, COVID-19, to ensure that we have the most accurate and latest information on the threat of the virus. As you know, this situation continues to develop rapidly as new cases are identified in our communities and our protocols will be adjusted as needed.
We are following updates and procedures from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) State Department of Health, local and county authorities, the Home Care Association of America and other agencies and resources. Our response and plans may adjust according to the recommendations from these organizations.
· As a standard practice, we have an emergency preparedness plan in place that evolves as COVID-19 does.
· All caregivers follow established protocol regarding staying home when sick. This practice is not new to our staff.
· Communication with caregivers to assess any known risk factors, contact in areas known to have reported cases is ongoing. We will advise staff not to report to work if they are deemed high-risk.
· We believe that home remains the safest place for you or your loved one, as indications show that the virus is spread more quickly in facilities and larger groups or public settings. Possible exposure will remain the lowest for those who are able to stay in their homes with limited outside contact. For this reason, we feel fortunate to be able to provide care that can keep people at home or limited exposure in group settings through personalized care.
· For clients we serve who reside in facilities or other group-type living situations, we will work closely with the facility on any protocols, exchange of information, or other guidelines as necessary.
· Many of our clients are especially at risk, given they are older adults or have underlying health issues. We are vigilant about our need to help protect these individuals from illness be it the flu, COVID-19, or any other communicable disease. These measures are not new to us as we seek to minimize risk regularly for our clients, regardless of an outbreak such as this new coronavirus.
Contingency Planning for You or Your Loved One
· Depending on the severity of the spread of illness in communities or the response taken by national and state authorities (ex. mandatory isolation, closure of schools, etc.), our staffing levels may be affected. As a result, we may be unable to cover all shifts.
· We will make every effort possible to provide our clients with safe and appropriate care and seek to avoid canceling shifts, however, we cannot guarantee this will not occur given the uncertainties about this situation.
· At all times, regardless of a viral outbreak or other situation, we strongly recommend that our clients have alternative arrangements for the provisions of care in the event we are unable to provide services. We encourage you to begin considering and putting into place back-up plans now, as the severity of the spread of this illness and planned interventions is still uncertain.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me. I want to assure you that we are following all the necessary protocols to protect our clients and your loved ones. I will continue to update you as more information becomes available.
March 17, 2020
- The health and safety of our caregivers and care receivers are our highest priority.
- We are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization guidelines in addition to monitoring and implementing local and state recommendations.
- We have instructed our team to be extra diligent in washing their hands, avoiding touching their face, and cleaning and disinfecting to remove germs and the spread of germs.
- We would like to stress that at this time no cases have been reported, but that we still want to take all appropriate precautions. We would also like to remind everyone of the CDC’s official recommendations below:
- If you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have traveled to China or were in close contact with someone with COVID-19 in the 14 days before you began to feel sick, seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- We encourage you to stay informed by visiting the CDC’s website for daily updates. The link is here.
- We will continue to take the necessary precautions in order to ensure the safety of our caregivers and receivers.